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"It's time to worry less about capital appreciation and more about capital preservation," Jim Cramer told viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show Tuesday -- at least until the Federal Reserve finally acts and slashes rates big.

Cramer said he wants to keep home-gamers involved in the market, but advised them to keep a low-risk profile. They should invest in stocks with good dividends and hold some cash on the sidelines to take advantage of opportunities.

And one of those opportunities has arrived, said Cramer, when four companies recently took a lesson from Donald Trump and fired three CEOs and one chairman. Cramer examined each of these firings to see which ones will make money.

First up is Starbucks ( SBUX), which just replaced CEO Jim Donald with company founder Howard Schultz. Cramer has loathed Starbucks since February 2007.

Cramer, long a fan of Schultz, said the stock has taken a beating because Starbucks has too many stores; it was expanding to suit the needs of Wall Street; it was failing to innovate; and it was lagging in customer service.

That all changes now that Schultz is back at the helm, Cramer said. He compared the company's turnaround to that of McDonald's ( MCD), a stock he owns for Action Alerts PLUS . Coincidentally, McDonald's also brought back key executives to spur innovation and growth.

Cramer's change of heart in Starbucks came after Schultz called him to assure him he would do whatever it takes to turn the company around. Cramer said he believes him.

According to Cramer, the best way to scale a position in Starbucks is to buy one-quarter of the position now, another quarter a week from now, and the remaining half after the company reports at the end of January.

A Lot More to Do

Next on the list of "resignations" is Jimmy Cayne, CEO of Bear Sterns ( BSC), who was just replaced by Alan Schwartz. This stock has fallen from $172 to $71.

Bear is a firm that's now known for its exposure to mortgage-backed bond trading, Cramer points out, "and changing the CEO won't fix that." Bear Sterns is a stock that investors should not touch, Cramer said. The company has a lot more work to do to clean up its reputation and balance sheet.

Cramer recommended Merrill Lynch ( MER) as an alternative to Bear Sterns. Merrill, he points out, is a stock with solid management, an indestructible brand, and a substantial retail network. Cramer feels Merrill has already cleaned house and is laying the ground work for future success.

Broken Companies

Cramer reminded viewers that he still prefers Goldman Sachs ( GS) over all other brokers, but now feels Merrill is getting attractive.

While Cramer feels there is something to salvage at Starbucks and Bear Sterns, that's not the case with the firings at Sallie Mae ( SLM) and Krispy Kreme ( KKD). The former, he points out, are broken stocks, while the latter are broken companies with considerable earnings risk.

Sallie Mae's business is changing, Cramer said, with more students opting for grants instead of loans and more graduates defaulting on the few loans they have. Business is so bad, Cramer inducted CEO Albert Lord to the top spot on his "Wall of Shame."

Krispy Kreme, Cramer says, "is sinking, no matter who runs it." It has a history of no real earnings and closing stores because franchisees are losing money. Cramer said he "would not touch KKD with a 10-foot pole."

Air Products CEO John McGlade

Cramer was once again taking the temperature of the economy by welcoming John McGlade, CEO of Air Products and Chemicals ( APD) to the show.

McGlade indicated that their business, like that of AirGas ( ARG), is also strong, with 55% of its sales now outside of the U.S. He also confirmed that the company has been able to raise prices successfully and, with shortages in gases such as helium, it's ramping up production to meet demand.

Cramer reiterated his buy on Air Products, saying that if the Federal Reserve continues to cut rates, investors could see a 25% boost in the price of stock.

In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Bristol-Myers Squibb ( BMY), Schering-Plough ( SGP), Biogen Idec ( BIIB), EMC Corp ( EMC), Intercontinental Exchange ( ICE), Foster Wheeler ( FWLT), Sirius Satellite Radio Inc ( SIRI) and Deckers Outdoor Corp ( DECK)

Cramer was bearish on VMware ( VMW), E*TRADE ( ETFC) and Citigroup ( C)

Want more Cramer? Check out Jim's rules and commandments for investing by clicking here.

For more of Cramer's insights during the Lightning Round, click here .
At the time of publication, Cramer was long McDonald's, Goldman Sachs, EMC, Schering-Plough and Citigroup.

Jim Cramer, host of the CNBC television program "Mad Money," is a Markets Commentator for TheStreet.com, Inc., and CNBC, and a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. All opinions expressed by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are his own and do not reflect the opinions of TheStreet.com or its affiliates, or CNBC, NBC UNIVERSAL or their parent company or affiliates. Mr. Cramer's opinions are based upon information he considers to be reliable, but neither TheStreet.com, nor CNBC, nor either of their affiliates and/or subsidiaries warrant its completeness or accuracy, and it should not be relied upon as such. Mr. Cramer's statements are based on his opinions at the time statements are made, and are subject to change without notice. No part of Mr. Cramer's compensation from CNBC or TheStreet.com is related to the specific opinions expressed by him on "Mad Money."

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